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Fine Start in Sweden as Thai Teenager Seeks to Repeat Czech Success
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor


Tamolwan Khetkuen, wearing the ITTF Hopes shirt with pride, made a fine start in Örebro  Photo By: Petter Koubek

02/25/2012        2012 Swedish Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Premium Junior Circuit (Click here to access this section)

Winner of the Cadet Girls’ Singles title at the ITTF Junior Circuit tournament in the Czech Republic one week ago, Thailand’s Tamolwan Khetkuen made a fine start in her bid to repeat the success at the Swedish Junior and Cadet Open in Örebro.

A former member of the ITTF World Hopes Team and in action in Puerto Rico earlier this year in January at the ITTF Cadet Challenge, the 14 year old experienced few problems in her initial group stage matches on Saturday 25th February 2012.

She posted straight games wins in impressive style in her group stage matches.

In her opening duel, she accounted for Melissa Bours of the Netherlands (11-8, 11-3, 11-4) and followed that success with a similarly impressive win in opposition to the host nation’s Stina Kallberg (11-4, 11-5, 11-3).

Practising Hard
“There is no doubt she is practising very hard to reach her goals and spends a lot of time far away from her parents in Bangkok but seems to like it”, explained Per Hällström, the Press Officer at the Safir International Tournament in Örebro, of which the Swedish Junior and Cadet Open is a constituent part.

“In half a year she has gone from no. 31 to no. 11 on the Under 15 World Rankings”, added Per Hällström, who was clearly impressed by the young lady from Thailand; just as she had impressed Dejan Papic, the Head Coach of the ITTF World Hopes Programme.

Attended Werner Schlager Academy
“Last year I spent two months at the Werner Schlager Academy and went back for school two months”, explained Tamolwan Khetkuen. “Then I went back again for two more months three times.”

Eight months at the Werner Schlager Academy and it seems to be paying dividends.

Support
“In Bangkok her coach Parinya Nonsagate helps her; he has represented the Thailand National Team on one occasion at the Asian Championships”, continued Per Hällström. “Furthermore, she is supported by a scholarship from the ITTF, sponsored by Butterfly, the Werner Schlager Academy and the Thailand Table Tennis Association.”

A winning combination; of that fact there can be no doubt.

Excels at English
“In Austria it’s full time table tennis and back in Thailand it’s school work”, added Per Hällström. “Her best subjects in school are Art and English.”

Good at English; certainly that is a plus.

A Good Chance
“I won my two first matches in the group today and I feel I have a good chance to win again”, said Tamolwan Khetkuen who is the top seed in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event in Örebro.

“She knows she has to practise to improve”, analysed Per Hällström. She needs to be stronger in her legs; her coach works hard with her footwork.”

Mentally Strong
Areas to improve but one essential area in which she is strong is her mental approach.

“I have a strong backhand topspin and my serves are good”, concluded Tamolwan Khetkuen. “I’m not nervous when I’m playing, in fact I am confident.”

Winning Formula
Another winning formula and at the Swedish Junior and Cadet Open on the penultimate day it would seem the formula is working well; very well indeed.
 

   

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